Formula 1

Ferrari aiming to “not lose performance” in returning Canadian Grand Prix

2 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Scuderia Ferrari know they must bounce back this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, after their dismal double DNF in Azerbaijan last weekend. This weekend’s race in Canada is the first since 2019, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Following their Baku agony, Ferrari now sit eighty-points behind Oracle Red Bull Racing, meaning that another slip-up this weekend could put their Austrian rivals out of sight. The same has to be said for Charles Leclerc, who after retiring from two of the last three races is now thirty-four-points behind Max Verstappen.

Ahead of the important weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari’s Track Electronics Manager, Paolo Pierro, explained what his role in the famous team is.

“I’m in charge of electronics at the track. I see to the management of all electronics over the race weekend and during the preparation period. In practical terms, I coordinate the activities of the personnel who look after the electronics, which covers all the electrical components on the car (sensors, actuators, cabled and wireless communications), operation and programming of the strategy software, work on low level control in the car and managing the controls for the start.

“But electronics is also the communication systems to and from the car, between all the engineers and mechanics, as well as the telemetry systems on the car and transmitting images to Formula 1. Electronics also impacts on the work in the garage with the interface and supply to the car, as well as the electronics for the pit-stops”.

Pierro went on to explain what his role will cover this weekend in Canada, with each track the championship visits having completely different characteristics.

“The track is 4361 metres in length and the race lasts 70 laps. Its characteristics, especially the hairpin at turn 10 and turn 13 at the wall of champions, are very hard on the brakes. This is the track where, more than any other, we keep all eyes on the caliper and brake disc temperatures to ensure that the measures we have in place are always consistent and effective.

“We also have to ensure that the brake-by-wire system that controls the rear brakes and adjusts brake balance with an electric motor, always responds in a matter of milliseconds and does not lose performance”.

Very little about the electrical side of the sport is ever discussed by teams, making Ferrari’s new tradition of introducing a different team member every race incredibly insightful. With that in mind, Pierro also discussed the amount of telemetric data produced at a Grand Prix and how much radio communication takes place.

“A Formula 1 car’s telemetry system requires a bandwidth of around 1MB/sec to send in real time, for around 10,000 channels. Each channel operates on a different frequency. When the car pits and we download the data, we have up to 40,000 channels available.

“These are then used to generate channels processed on the ground (in practice, high-level information is extracted from the information on the sensors that allow us to monitor the reliability and performance of the car). The number of these channels is even higher during Friday practice where we have some extra acquisitions. This means managing 50GB of data for each grand prix.

“The communication system is even more interesting: there are about 60 internal communication channels, of which 40 are transmitted to the Maranello remote garage. In a race weekend there are about 5000 internal communications, a thousand of them in the race alone. Communications to or in between mechanics account for another 1000, while engineers transmit around 150 communications per weekend with each driver”.

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office
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